SPCA Takes Part in Maddie’s Fund We Foster Challenge
By Melanie Rushforth, Vice President of Veterinary Services
The SPCA Serving Erie County has been awarded funding for demonstrating success through the Maddie’s Fund We Foster Challenge! The SPCA Serving Erie County has not been awarded funding from Maddie’s Fund since 2019, so this is extra exciting for us.
The We Foster Challenge was designed to help shelter and rescue organizations create or expand community-based foster programs that inspire community members to get involved by proudly saying, “We foster! So can you!” As we shift towards a more community-centric model of animal welfare, it’s important to get everyone in the Western NY area involved. After all, fostering is a job just about anyone can do. Pet owners know the incredible bond that humans and animals have and the importance of keeping families together. Foster care is a powerful way to achieve that. That’s what the We Foster Challenge was all about. The process from start to finish involved an initial pitch of an innovative idea; selection to move onto the working portion of the challenge; reporting out on the results of the challenge; waiting while the experts at Maddie’s Fund evaluate our outcomes…and AWARD!
Throughout the month of May, the SPCA Serving Erie County highlighted Shadow Cats as our We Foster Challenge project. Shadow Cats is an ongoing internal initiative which works to meet shy or fearful cats where they are behaviorally to assist them in navigating the journey to becoming adoptable pets living out the rest of their lives in long-term homes. We are seeing a positive response regarding the acceptance of these shy cats just the way they are, so we expanded the adoption opportunities and housing of these cats to colony settings within the SPCA’s physical shelter as well. If you come to the SPCA, you’ll notice that one of our beautiful colony rooms is dedicated to a group of gorgeous Shadow Cats. While some Shadow Cats need to get out of the shelter to showcase their personalities, some are best kept with their buddies in the colony rooms that we have in our modern shelter. We let the cats help us understand what they need.
Shadow Cats are the best friend you don’t yet have. They are quiet, stealth, and maybe just need a little extra time to acclimate into your home before they settle into being a lap cat. Or perhaps they’ll remain the quiet and polite roommate that is grateful for your companionship and company…. from a distance. Shadow Cats offer the benefit of companionship without the burden of constant attention. They’re great pets for individuals that work from home, or individuals who might work nontraditional shifts. They’d be great roommates in apartments (they don’t need too much space!)
Pets are like people in so many ways, so why wouldn’t some of them be a little shyer than others?
This exciting Challenge was funded by Michelson Found Animals Foundation, Maddie’s Fund® and Cuddly in collaboration with Adopt-A-Pet.com, Adoptimize, American Pets Alive!, ASPCA, The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement, Best Friends Animal Society, Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity (CARE), Community Cats Podcast, Greater Good Charities, HeARTS Speak, Humane Society of the United States, National Animal Care and Control Association, Petco Love, and PetSmart Charities. We are so grateful for the recognition of our part in this important shift in the work of animal welfare. This funding will allow the SPCA to continue to support animals needing a soft place to land outside of the shelter walls, and the supplies required of their loving foster families.
Want to get involved with fostering (or even adopting) your own Shadow Cat? Please contact the SPCA Serving Erie County’s Foster Care Department via email at FosterCare@YourSPCA.org or visit their page!
National Nonprofit Petco Love Invests in SPCA Serving Erie County to
Save and Improve the Lives of Pets in Erie County, New York
$25,000 grant was celebrated at local Petco event on July 21, 2022
West Seneca, NY (July 2022) – The SPCA Serving Erie County received a $25,000 grant investment from national nonprofit Petco Love during a special celebration at West Seneca Petco in support of their lifesaving work for animals in Erie County.
Petco Love is a national nonprofit leading change for pets by harnessing the power of love to make communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since its founding in 1999, Petco Love has invested $330 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. And Petco Love helps find loving homes for pets in partnership with Petco and more than 4,000 organizations — like ours — across North America, with 6.5 million pets adopted and counting.
“Our investment in the SPCA Serving Erie County is part of more than $15M in investments recently announced by Petco Love to power local organizations across the country as part of our commitment to create a future in which no pet is unnecessarily euthanized,” said Susanne Kogut, president of Petco Love. “Our local investments are only part of our strategy to empower animal lovers to drive lifesaving change right alongside us. We recently celebrated the one-year launch anniversary of Petco Love Lost, a national lost and found database that uses pet facial recognition technology to simplify the search for lost pets.”
“Of course, you can never predict when an emergency veterinary situation presents itself, but with this gift, Petco Love is giving the opportunity to ensure that pets stay with their families instead of being surrendered to our shelter or to another rescue organization,” said Bethany Kloc, Bethany Kloc, SPCA communications manager.
The SPCA Serving Erie County is committed to addressing the problems of violence, neglect, and apathy – problems that impact not only animals, but people of all ages, races, and income groups. Our priority as a humane society is to teach lessons of kindness and caring at every opportunity. By providing services for people and animals, we empower individuals to become caring, competent, responsible citizens who value animals as vital parts of our community. We foster a kind and gentle environment for the people and animals who come to our shelter seeking our protection. As the premier animal welfare agency in our community, we lend help to all who need it. Last year, the SPCA oversaw the adoption of more than 4,400 animals, the Wildlife Department cared for more than 3,800 animals, the Humane Education Department provided programs and services for thousands of adults and children, and SPCA Officers went out on 1,450 investigation calls. The SPCA has recently become a Human Animal Support Services (HASS) partner, ensuring that people and pets stay together.
SPCA foster Hattie Cattie with one of her kittens in a foster home.
Join the SPCA’s Foster Care Department at our Foster Care Open House on Saturday, June 25 from noon to 3 p.m.!
It’s National Foster-A-Pet Month, and it’s no exaggeration when we say that members of our SPCA’s foster team are directly responsible for saving the lives of animals we wouldn’t be able to help otherwise. Join us during our Summer of Love and together, let’s show more love and save more lives!
Animals that routinely need foster care include cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, rabbits, reptiles, rodents, birds, guinea pigs, and more! If you have a spare bedroom, extra love in your heart, and a working vehicle, you’re a prime candidate to be an SPCA foster parent!
Stop by our Foster Care Open House on Saturday, June 25 from noon to 3 p.m. and talk with SPCA Foster Care Employees and one of the SPCA’s most committed Foster Care Volunteers, Judy. Together, they’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about opening your home to foster animals. They will have applications available so if you decide this is something you’re interested in, you can sign up right away!
Want a head start? Read all about the SPCA’s Foster Care Department here!
Open interviews May 12 will include the following positions*:
Seasonal Camp Counselor
*This list is regularly updated; please check back for additional positions listed. There are other employment opportunities at the SPCA that may not be interviewed for on Thursday; to see all openings including those that will be interviewed for May 12, please click here >>
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